18 answers

Help!!! 8 Year Old Son Screams and Crys About Everything.

I am at my witts end my 8 year old screams and crys about everything from homework to eating. He is always unhappy, At the moment my husband is dealing with him because he says he can't dry a picture of a car. Earlier he was screaming because I asked him to help pick up toys. Everyday all day it is something even when he first wakes up he has more than 40 min to get ready for school and he freaks out because he says he does not have enough time to get ready, he will even do this when we wake him up earlier. We went through the same kind of faze with our 9 year old when he was 8 but he also has other emotional issues going on, that we know are not the same for this one. Does anyone have any ideas, I am a daycare provider in my home so it is not like I can get away from him much. He also yells and screams and hits his sister and brother. Any ideas would be great. It is to a point we don't even go out because this is the behavior we get. We have tried time outs but after 3 hours it kinda gets old.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would have him tested for autism. Another idea is when he does the screaming and acting out it may be that he is overstimulated/stressed. Try giving him a deep hug or pushing down on his shoulders to see if this helps to relax him so that he can regain control again. Just a few thoughts.

Hi J.

Sounds like he is looking for attention any way he can get it . With being the middle child and you taking care of other children I am guessing there is not much time for one on one time with each child . A child always needs there own time with a parent .
I have a 10 year old and a 9 year old and they act out when they need a little more attention .

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Hi J.. My thought was that it could be blood sugar related. My friend has a son that is hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) that has the same behaviours. My daughter has diabetes (hyperglycemic, aka high blood sugar) and when her sugars are high she has behaviours that she cannot get under control.
Blood sugar highs and lows affect everyone and usually manifest in behaviour. However, people with diabetes or hypoglycemia just can't "get over it" like we can. They need to be treated with glucose (low b. sugar) or insulin (high b. sugar).
If this doesn't jive with you then feel free to throw it out! Otherwise just ask a Dr. and they can do some simple tests to rule out a medical reason for these behaviours.
Stay strong mom!

1 mom found this helpful

For my kids I take away what is most precious to them. For my son it was his train track. I don't take it away for a week or what ever (I am much meaner than that!) I make my kids earn it back. I tell the child what I expect him to do. So in your case you can say You will get your toy back when you stop whining about getting up and doing home work. I usually start with a few things and then as he gets better we work on more things to earn more stuff back. So if you take a game system take the games and everything and then he gets one thing back each time he does something well. If he continues to misbehave I continue to take things away. My son had no toys left at all at one point. After he had nothing left I told him the toys were going in the garbage and he was never getting them back. He learned and is now a good kid! good luck!

I know I posted of complete seperation and that is what worked for the couple I know, but it has been eating at my gut since I posted.
When my son was 2-6 he would have melt downs like this and I didn't link the older behavior with the younger symptoms til this morning but it hit me that they may be similar. Has he been like this for a long time? I know my son is bipolar, and he has been like this forever. If your son has only recently started acting like this one of the questions they asked me when they diagnosed my son was if it was new behavior because it may be an adjustment disorder. Just a thought, I'm sorry I was harsh in my last post, I'm normally not in favor of tough love, I just heard of the couple who did the separation thing that week and it worked so it was fresh in my mind. I truly think he should be evaluated and see a counselor I know it did wonders for my son. Sorry for my last post

Is this new behavior for him, or has he just started being sensitive? If it is new, what has changed in his life? Is he having trouble at school or just at home? Have you talked to him about his feelings? Could he be trying to gain attention by mimicking what he saw his older brother do that worked? There is a lot to consider. At eight years old you should be able to talk to him when the situation is not stressful and get some answers and figure out a way for him to get his needs met. My advice is to try not to be angry and try to be understanding. He is a child and therefore immature by nature and perhaps not able to communicate as you might hope to get what he needs from you. Be patient and let him know how important he is to the family. Maybe he needs something to be responsible for doing so that he can feel more grownup and experience pride in his capability. Then he might stop some of the babyish behavior.

You've gotten lots of advice to address this behaviorally or physically. My advice would be to check out any physical reasons FIRST. Any behavior modifications (including the tough love techniques) are not going to work if the behavior is not something your son can actually control. It's a bad road to go down, because your son won't be able to behave in a way that you want him to, and you will punish/discipline him for it. You'll get a kid who believes hes bad no matter what he does.
I would also seek the advice of a family therapist. He has anxiety that doesn't sound normal to me (layperson's view).
Your son may be dealing with issues that prompt his behavior and he really isn't mature enough to even know what they are, much less be able to deal with them.
In a nutshell, I think you need some professional help. But it's ok, because sometimes parents need "backup", and sometimes you can't deal with it alone--you need a team. And I think you want your son to get all the help he needs.

I would talk to his dr. He may have depression issues (even at 8 yrs old).

This may be way off, but could he have lead poisoning? You state that you remodeled your house and sometimes older houses have lead paint in them. Check out this website: http://children.webmd.com/tc/lead-poisoning-symptoms It mentions some of the things you state is happening to your child.

HOw does he do at school? Same behavior, better or worse? That might be a first clue as to where to focus your attention. If the teacher(s) have had trouble what have they tried and did it work or not?

Could you make a simple to read daily schedule for him (maybe with picture support)? Give him a little control to see what is happening when. At our we try to get all our stuff ready for the next day the night before,as it helps get rid of some of the "rush" in the am. What about scheduling some one on one play time too?

Just trying to throw out some ideas. Your pediatrician should also be able ot give you ideas/help on how to handle behavior and development. That's one of the things they're supposed to do. Check out Super Nanny too; she's great with kids like your son. I wouldn't automatically assume there is some big medical/behaviorial issue.

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